"STEAM" BATTERY

Thermo-chemical Energy Storage

Thermo-Chemical Storage for Solar Heat

Our steam battery was designed to offer an alternative for storing energy collected as heat, for later retrieval as steam, which can be used to run a turbine to produce electricity. The energy can be stored indefinitely, and retrieved at any time, and rate of retrieval can vary according to need.

Calx Energetics' steam battery is composed of many individual thermochemical cells (pictured right), combined to form a total storage solution for energy. These thermochemical cells are arranged in an array to form a battery.

Our Steam battery technology allows us to take a mid-temperature heat source (>270 deg C) and thermo-chemically store the energy for later delivery as steam. Solar trough and fresnel collectors deliver heat in this range, but there are many other intermittent viable sources that are suitable, such as industrial waste heat, or cyclic heat from a batch process. The heat energy is delivered to the steam battery by steam or thermal oil, and the output can be either wet steam, dry steam or superheated steam.

Advantages and Outstanding Features

Our steam battery provides the most viable dispatchable renewable energy ever proposed. Its true ability to store energy indefinitely, with high efficiency and minimal losses, combined with the modest infrastructure and operational costs, place the steam battery in a strong position to compete with existing energy production. 

  • Chemical Storage. By applying a thermochemical reaction and storing the energy chemically, our process circumvents to need for costly and inefficient storage of heat. There are numerous benefits of this storage compared to storing heat. There is no degradation of energy stored, losses are significantly lower, and the energy can be stored indefinitely.
  • Portable. A 1.6 MWhr battery fits into a 20 ft shipping container storage, and is easily transported. It can be installed in remote sites and relocation is possible.
  • Highly efficient. Due to the high efficiency of the technology, the above container battery, coupled with a matched turbine, is able to convert more than half its stored energy into electrical output.
  • Chemical heat pumping for greater efficiency. Our steam battery uses calcium oxide and steam as the thermochemical reaction. This allows us to use chemical heat pumping to return stored heat at a much higher temperature than the temperature at which it was delivered. This increases the efficiency of the turbine and delivers more energy to the electrical generator.
  • 24-hour energy delivery. Energy from solar heat or industrial waste heat can be harvested when convenient, and redelivered at any time.
  • Less energy losses. When coupled to a turbine, the turbine exhaust is absorbed into the battery to drive the thermochemical reaction. The effect of this is that the unavoidable heat engine losses occur during the storage stage rather than the energy usage stage, a distinct advantage when the loss can be easily replaced. For example, if the storage is occurring in a solar collector field during daylight hours, the energy losses can easily be replaced from the solar array, but losses that occur in the evening cannot be replaced.

Applications and Industry Uses

The steam battery technology can be used in small and large installations to harvest energy from a solar trough array, to be delivered as energy at times when the sun is not shining, such as at night or on overcast days. Alternatively, industrial waste heat can drive the thermochemical process, and the battery can deliver the energy back to the industrial process at a later stage in the cycle.

The steam battery designs are ready for the production of a pilot plant.







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